Excitement of May

The arrival of May 2022 has never been more needed than this year. Longer days and warmer days are upon us as we welcome back the likes of the Red Sox, summer sports, dance recitals, and getting the double-wide family trailer opened at the beach.

In households of soon-to-be graduating seniors, May 1 marked National Deposit Day, the day the Class of 2026 commits to enroll in college. Exciting for students and surreal for parents. The journey to find the right college to start one’s 13th year of learning and personal development is complete. All that’s left is finding a roommate, obtaining medical and legal documents, and finalizing how to pay. Congratulations to all.

If exploring higher education after high school is still being considered, maybe a different path is in order. No longer is it a one-education pathway that fits all. Exploring interests and options to achieve individual expectations and goals is the key.

May is equally important to current 11th-grade students on their threshold, 12-grade. College planning for juniors and even sophomores should be in high gear with scheduled campus visits. Campuses are alive with activities and opportunities. Schedule your on-campus visits now!!

To all the hard-working moms, thank you for your devotion and love. We celebrate you on Mother’s Day and every day!!

Have questions, we’re here to calm the waters.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Congratulations – Graduation is in sight.

But, yes, there are a few more things for parents of college-bound students; one critical – is finalizing how to pay the remaining cost to attend.

  • Step #1: Using the school’s financial aid award letter, calculate the net tuition price
    • Cost – all merit and need-based aid awarded = the net tuition price
  • Step #2: Review the financing options specific to your family’s resources – savings, gifts, investment earnings, home equity
  • Step #3: Add to the help all external scholarships awarded at graduation or from external sources.
  • Step #4: If a balance remains and no other resources are available, families can consider two credit-based loans, the Federal PLUS (Parent) Loan or an Alternative Private Education Loan (student is the borrower; parent is a co-signer).
  • Access my Financing Worksheet, which walks you through the process.

Federal Education Loan Freeze
Once again, the U.S. Department of Education (ED), at the request of the Administration, has extended the student loan payment freeze to August 31, 2022. The extension suspends loan payments, drops the interest to 0%, and offers other benefits to delinquent and defaulted student loan borrowers.
While you wait for the thaw, borrowers with private education should investigate refinancing benefits: fixed interest rate, one account, or liquidating loans faster. It is unclear what the political air will be in September, so stay tone.

National Testing
The on-again, off-again debate goes on. SAT/ACT or not. The pandemic made it almost impossible for students to take the test; high schools stopped offering Test Day, resulting in a nationwide test-optional movement at colleges and universities. Many schools are rethinking their policies and reintroducing the requirement for admission and scholarship awards. What does this mean for 11th-grade students? If you can register and sit for the test, do so. BUT suppress releasing your results. Don’t take the free offer. Tipping one’s hat too early can be a barrier to acceptance!!

Don’t Wait …. Show Your Interest
Today, college-bound 11th-grade students need to introduce themselves and work to educated schools of their interests and academic and personal talents. It’s no secret that colleges and universities purchase students’ names and information. Part of their sophisticated enrollment management plans to target prospective students. But receiving an email or glossy brochure does not define a relationship. Using digital and traditional communication methods, students need to step forward, build relationships, and raise awareness about their interests. It’s critical in today’s college recruitment environment.

Planning Checklists

9th | 10th | 11th Grades  

Five Steps to Planning and Financing 

  • Learn about costs – in/out of state, public or private, and community college.
  • Determine what you can afford – get a pre-assessment of a family’s contribution and financial aid before going shopping.
  • Learn how college makes their decisions, acceptances, waitlists, and financial aid awards
  • Shop broadly – big, small, known, and unknown; avoid the trap of the rankings
  • Create a comprehensive college plan to find the right education, at the right school for the right investment

College-Bound Seniors – 

A few more essential tasks to address to ensure a smooth start to the academic year in September.

  • Activate your NEW College Student email and ID
  • Send in your Dorm Deposit & Find a Roommate
  • Register and attend Orientation
    • Complete Outstanding Forms (Meal Plan Selection, Campus Security Policy)
    • Submit a Student Health Waiver (if the student is covered under a parent’s healthcare plan
    • Submit the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Waiver (allows parents to retain their right to view student records after the student turns 18 years of age.
    • Health/Immunization Records
    • Submit AP/IB Test Scores (Credits)
    • Take Placement Tests (if required) + Register for Classes
  • Before leaving High School ensure your Final High School Transcript is sent
  • Research extra-curricular on and around campus
  • Work with your insurance carrier/agent if a car is going on campus
  • Shop lightly; pack for the fall
  • Enroll and be successful!

Partners Corner 

Thoughts and Interests from Joanne Light – Parenting Empowerment Coach
Former Vice President of Enrollment Services, North Shore Community College

As parents, tweens, teens, and teachers contemplate a relief from pandemic issues and restrictions, they are also experiencing more stress. Stress is a result of uncertainty and anxiety and right now there is no shortage of causes of that. World unrest, school challenges, financial challenges, relationship challenges – all felt and seen.

However, personal stress is plaguing our tweens and teens in greater proportions. They are facing challenges and worries about identity, social interactions, academic pressure, and future unknowns. So since the world is unpredictable, let’s talk about stress management. First kids need to be aware of their stress and how it makes them physically feel – the racing heart, tightening chest, sweating, and mood changes.

Teenagers’ brains are fast developing, and the fight or flight part of their brain is producing hormones that lead to physical symptoms. They prepare to react to the “danger”. The rational part of their brain is not fully developed, so they may, unless in a calm state, overreact to the “danger” which may be an argument with a parent, an upcoming test, a slight by a friend, an unfinished college application, etc.
Some stress can be a good thing as it motivates planning, practicing, and resilience. Chronic stress, however, for your teen or for you is unsustainable.

There are choices for our kids in coping with their stress, and we parents can model stress management and guide them to make healthy choices. Talk to them openly about healthy vs unhealthy choices. Healthy choices will enable them to gain control and resolve their concerns and minimize some of the stress. The unhealthy choices – drugs, alcohol, poor eating, self-harm, risky sexual behavior, etc. only lead to poor academic performance, regrets, and lower self-esteem. And, of course, more stress.
I will be writing more to suggest creating stress management plans for your kids and for your family. Very important, however, is the example you set in managing your own stress.
Breathe, breathe, breathe…
Visit https://joannehlight.com/ to learn more

This is a new section where we will be featuring information from our colleagues and friends. Individuals who are outside of our lane, but linked through their wonderful work. Trusted partners.

WHAT WE’RE READING & WHO WE’RE FOLLOWING
Trends, changes, and things on the horizon

  • Read about the pros and cons of taking a Gap Year. – Bottom line, have a PLAN Gap Year 
  • Mental health issues on campuses are real – especially for student-athletes
  • SAT changes are coming for 2024 – increased access, digital versus paper,  shorter questions.
  • New FAFSA rules and guidelines will affect 2023-2024, starting Oct 1
  • Always good reading at Grown and Flown; Lessons to learn, conversations before going to college.

 

Events

College Planning Workshop – LIVE & In-Person – Free

Free workshop for parents of high school students

Topics to cover include

  • How the pandemic has changed the way colleges evaluate and recruit students
  • What not to do with retirement savings
  • How to create a plan to find, select, and pay for school.
  • There will be ample time for questions!!

Where: Wakefield Recreation Center
When – Two choices – May 17th and 25th from 7 PM to 8 PM
Sponsored by Pivotal College Years  Register 

SUMMER CLINICS

The PCY Workshop Series is now available! SMALL online classes with the experts. Topics covering Getting Started, Applications, Essays, and MORE…Register today! https://www.eventbrite.com/o/pivotal-college-years-15529534…

Check out the robust online library of information covering a wide range of topics, before, during, and after college. Resources include videos, PDF downloads, Workbooks – College Essays, Hunting for Scholarship, and other reference information on everything college. College Planning shouldn’t be complicated, intimidating, or expensive.
Use PCY30 for a free trial – Learn more

For you, your clients, and employees!

 

Get College Going

When you need that one-to-one support. We advise and guide parents; coach and counsel students.  We’re industry experts and parents, just like many of you.

If you are feeling paralyzed or have a sense of anxiety, start a conversation – Follow us, and ask us questions

If you find our newsletter and information helpful, share it within your community and workplace.

 

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Copyright © 2020 Get College Years  All rights reserved.
Schedule a Free Consultation
617-240-7350
tom@getcollegegoing.com

Love Affair with Higher Education

After high school, everyone should pursue their education. Following one’s goal of achieving a higher education is a critical next step in every person’s life. New and brighter lights are now being focused on the multiple ways individuals can obtain financial stability, wellness, and personal growth. Yes, a Bachelor’s Degree (or higher) is required in many workplaces, however, there are now other vital ways, programs available to advance one’s education and credentials. The pandemic, a shift in demographics, and the “great resignation” warrants a look at community colleges, skilled professionals and trades, at 13th year of exploration and other specialized programs. All were open before, but now are equal to a traditional college path.

THAT’S MY DREAM SCHOOL

What is it about the school that makes it so dreamy? Is it the academics or social environment that makes the heartbeat fonder? Can it be how they promise to meet personal needs, taking care of health & wellness, or the offerings of extra-curricular? Maybe its their hands on commitment to helping guide a student to timely completion and graduation or placement in the workforce? Ultimately are they with you to extend the financial support to make the school affordable?
Falling in love with a dream school is more than looks, and what everyone else is doing. It’s a financial and personal investment, It requires time, evaluation and casting a wide net to find the right education, for the right reason, at the right school, for the right investment.

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH ENROLLMENT

Answers lie with the pandemic, lack of access to campus and faculty, and other underlining socio-economic factors. Enrollment at colleges across Massachusetts, New England, and the US is down. Community College is even worse.
However, over the past month, I have seen a steady increase in the number of schools opening their doors to alive and energized campuses. College and universities are welcoming new students and families to learn about their services and programs. The recruitment season for the next incoming class of first-year students (2023-2024) is underway. Are you in the game? Curate your college list, sign up for a tour and and get to know your higher education options.

BE A WISE BUYER

Three things to know – we’ll there more but lets start here:

College Costs – understanding how costs are calculated, the difference between a sticker and net tuition price, and how the many layers of tuition assistance (scholarships, grants, need-based financial aid, and self-help) money are determined and awarded. Do you know your family’s financial threshold. What if you need to be prequalified, how much could you afford to spend over four years?
Cast a Wide Net – Yes, there are those dream schools that everyone is chasing, but there are hundreds schools that should not be the ones that got away.
Relationships – the pandemic has changed the relationship game between colleges and students. Texting, virtual 1-1 meetings, chat, and emails are now in play. They are critical for a student to use to introduce and showcase their accomplishments and interest. Classic in-person, local visits to high schools will gradually return, but new methods of connecting driven by the student must now be part of the plan.

I HEARD AT THE FLOWER COUNTER

Myths, misunderstand statements  and tall tales are some of the most significant causes of anxiety and stress.

I’m a parent of a sophomore in high school. Is it too early to start thinking about paying for college?
Never – learning now about college costs, financing strategies, and how the right school can impact the equation is critical. Knowing this as part of early college planning is outstanding.

My middle school student is interested in technology. Are there options at the high school level?
YES – High school students can pursue an interest in technology at many technical-vocational schools and through the STEM Program.

My high school senior didn’t apply yet!
Most college and university deadlines are February. Public colleges and universities are a little later – June 1. For students interested in a Fall start but not ready, enrolling in community college is an outstanding option. Slow the pace, focus on readiness, save some money, and transfer to the four-year campus to finish after obtaining an Associate’s Degree.

Our income is too high; we won’t qualify for financial aid, so why apply?
Yes, income is decisive in calculating need-based aid, far more than investments. Still, without the aid application, FAFSA, being on file, there is no basis to have a conversation. Applying for aid is the door to learning more. A discussion with the school to identify a family’s unique circumstances students’ interest in maybe learning the right school for the right reason will be the best investment.

College is too expensive; I’ll never get my degree.
Not True – yes, it may take a different path than others, but utilizing all of the resources, is achievable. Your loved ones are there to help!! Learn the paths, draw up a plan, tap into resources, and press forward.

Click here to read more myths, misunderstand statements and tall tales

Have a question, concern, or your own “AHA” moment, call, text [617-240-7350] or email tom@getcollegegoing.com

CALMING THE WATERS – Are you feeling a sense of college paralysis? Anxious? As a parent of four, having spent a career working with families college and university administrators, I understand the complexity of planning for life after high school. If you need clarity and insights to your questions, tools to manage your work, or individual one-to-one assistance, reach out. Feel free to reach me by text or telephone at 617-240-7350 or email at tom@getcollegegoing.com.

What is Pivotal College Years – a digital library created to provide families of high school and college-aged students with a wealth of planning information in one easily accessible website. Subscribers have access to over 68 lessons, 20 videos, downloadable documents and workbooks, and live webinars, all designed to aid the in navigate individual needs, before, during and after college. Get College Going is an affiliated partner of Pivotal College Years – Use code PCY30days www.pivotalcollegeyears.com

 

Never Ends – Always Planning

Love July …. Although we have had a few warm days already, you have to love July. Time to kick back, grab some vacation time, walk the beach, or sit poolside. For families of high school and college-aged students, the summer offers no rest from the critical tasks and activities associated with post-high school and college-related activities.

Top Nine Summer Tasks Not to Miss

1 – Learn the Admissions and Financial Aid Process – whether your oldest and first or fourth like me, learn the rules, terminology, and your parent of four like me. The pandemic changed the landscape, but it is coming back fast; rules, and processes

2 – Map Out the Timeline – digitalize the checklist of activities, tasks, responsibilities within the household – keep everyone accountable; it’s not just mom’s job!

3 – Don’t Waste the Junior to Senior Summer – colleges are open for businesses, sign up, and attend tours. Get out on the road. Investigate, explore, ask questions and learn.

4 – Raising Your Hand – register, text, email, and call. Let your schools know you are interested in them. The college hasn’t had time to find you!

5- Start the Essay and Common Application – senior year will be hectic – start now!!

6 – Gap Year – if you were one of the many students who elected to delay entering college this year, make it a good year. But read the fine print. Be cautious. Each school has its own rules and policies regarding deferring, taking a semester or year off. Contact your school and learn the rules!

7 – Keep the Pedal Down on Scholarships – Every dollar earned is a dollar not borrowed.

8 – Be Independent – learn to drive, volunteer, talk to college students, get a job, stay active – middle, high school, or college-age, pick one and join your community.

9 – Increasing Tuition Assistance – two important factors guide this, your student, and the needs of a college. Understanding the dynamics of a school and why they award scholarships, need-based aid, tuition discounts, and other resources is key. Not the two programs administered by the Feds or even your state and local providers. Moving this and moving that, prior to understanding the college-student matching game can lead to unwise changes.

Social Media – love it or hate it, it’s part of our framework and many daily lives. For colleges and universities, it is another item on their admission checklist – post offer to attend. Right now, many institutions across the county are examining Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter pages of their incoming class of 2021. They are reviewing social media pages to ensure that individuals who have accepted an offer to attend have not crossed the social media line. I advise all of my families to be cautious. Don’t let eighteen years of building a solid image and personal character get tainted by one social media post.

Remember – No Planning is Poor Planning 

CALMING THE WATERS – Are you feeling anxious? Have questions? As a parent of four, I understand the complexing of planning a student’s journey after high school. If you’re looking for clarity and insights to your questions reach out. . No Pitch!

Find us, follow up and learn more at https://linktr.ee/getcollegegoing – 617-240-7350 or email at tom@getcollegegoing.com.

Not ready for an adviser in your life, consider the online college planning portal Pivotal College Years. A low-cost, robust subscription resource center at the click of a mouse or palm your hand. EVERYTHING college before, during, and after, in one place.- College Planning Portal for Families 

 

No Summer Slide for 2022 Planning

Congratulations to the graduating Class of 2021

To the students and the parents of the graduating class of 2021, wow. kindergarten, elementary, middle, high school, college, graduate school. Wow. In all of my 35+ years in education, never has there been a year. Congratulation!

Now, no sliding during the summer. Put your relentless determination, newfound savviness, and ability to pivot to work, and take your next step. Parents and students use the month of June to recharge and refuel but do not let up on the gas.

Whether your classroom is moving up, changing schools, grade level, pursuing graduate school, internship, apprenticeship, licensing, or joining the workforce, take the bull by the horns (little ones not a good idea) and champion forward. We are here to help and have your back!!

Summer Doesn’t Take a Break

The pandemic has changed the college admission and financial aid landscape for the foreseeable future. If you’re a rising senior you have time and opportunity. This summer is going to be key to recovering and taking advantage of missed opportunities. The campus is opening for tours, information sessions, and meeting with college admissions and financial aid departments. Learn, explore, ask questions, and prep for the Fall. Need answers and insight – call us, schedule an appointment. We do not pitch until you say help!

Still, Thinking About College?

Opportunities await even now for September 2021 enrollment. The pandemic caused many students and families to pause during the school year to question what’s next—a good pause for many. This past year, we have learned a lot, including that we need to celebrate and support multiple pathways education and careers.

If you are now ready to go in September, over 150 colleges, universities, and Community Colleges in MA and New England are waiting to hear from you. If an internship, apprenticeship, licensing program, or skilled professional program suits you, then go for it. Turn to your resources at NSCC, NECC, No Shore Career Center, and the vast network that makes up the Route One BNG family.

Preparing to Pay – September College Tuition Bill

It will be in the mailbox, your student’s email or the college portal, the September tuition bill. Arriving as early as July, the bill, once resolved, is the pathway to key swipe card) for dorm rooms, access to the dining halls, and campus life activities. Yes, academic classes too. Finalizing financing options should be done sooner than later. Investigate all options, including a school’s Monthly Payment Plan, use of savings (529 plans), scholarships, and personal financing resources (home equity). If, in the end, a private education loan is the only option, borrow conservatively, and remember, a loan must be repaid.

No Break from Campus Tours

Parents of high school sophomores and juniors, no, no. The pandemic has left many slightly behind or not even engaged. In-person campus tours, information sessions, and 1-1 interviews are back! Students and families will need to map their thoughts on where to visit by the strength of the college list, who’s hot or not. The pandemic has changed the rules, many that will continue into the 2021-2022 college year. Don’t lose the benefits of the summer months!

Repaying Education Loan and Employee Assistance Programs

Changes during the pandemic placed a hold on the repayment of Federal Student Loans, which tentatively ends on September 30, 2021. It is unclear what, if anything, the Administration or Congress will do, but those whose loans were frozen should begin to factor the return of their monthly payment into the budget. Education loan refinancing and modified repayment may be an option if there is a continued financial strain on the family budget.

The use of employer-sponsored education reimbursement benefits also experienced changes with the introduction of expanded services—benefits, including assisting with education loan debt.

Power of Saving

Financial aid is available for those who qualify—a classic statement used by colleges and universities and many who advise students and families. However, saving is king. Every dollar saved strengthens a student and family’s access to college. Setting aside as much as possible through a broader range of education savings programs will increase access to a wide range of college options. Parents, grandparents, and relatives can also participate in the college savings game. Connect with one of the many financial service experts in the Route One BNG family for additional guidance and assistance.

Consult an Independent College Counselor

Need help with the checklist, calming the waters, getting started, or just answering questions. An experienced independent college counselor can help parents guide their students. They listen, focus on needs and expectations, and help manage realistic and holistic college planning. Plus, you’ll get the peace of mind that a professional is on the team 100% of the time.

Tom O’Hare is the Founder of Get College Going, a North Shore-based full-service college counseling practice. TOur goal is to help family’s find the right education, for the right reason, at the right school for the right investment—resources before, during, and after college.

Schedule a free consultation or obtain your free Comprehensive College Guide at www.getcollegegoing.com
Follow Get College Going at www.linktr.ee.com/getcollegegoing

 

 

 

7 COMMON COLLEGE PLANNING MISCUES

High school seniors are anxiously awaiting the finish line. Twelve years of studies, homework, and activities from 7:15 AM to 2:15 PM are coming to an end. Next for many will be college, work, internships, volunteer work, and service.

At the same time, college graduates begin to embrace their next move; graduate schools, two-year to four-year, upskilling, and of course joining the workforce.

The late Spring and early summer months are exciting times for young emerging minds.

For parents of rising juniors (2023) and seniors (2022), your work doesn’t end as the summer approaches. Yes, we all look forward to the beach, time off for good behavior, and maybe even a slower pace, but the summer is a pivotal time to stay on track to hit Fall deadlines and complete essential tasks.

7 Common College Miscues

1. Allowing a 17-Year- Old to Make $250K Financial Decisions
Attending college after high school is an investment. Too often, I find parents allowing their DS or DD to be the sole manager of their process. Parents need to work with their students to set realistic goals and expectations, learn about financing capabilities, and share tasks and calendar deadlines.

2. Believing that a 4 Year College is for Everyone
Yes, learning is timeless, lifelong, but for many, it calls for different pathways. Parents of middle and high school, don’t panic if the idea of a skilled profession or work than college is the path being considered. Education pathways should be individualized based on the interest, goals, and strengths of the student.

3. Shopping Before Budgeting
What is our financing capability? Debt tolerance? Learn the rules, how colleges set costs, award aid, and recruit students using their money. Like when buying a first home, it is critical to understand what we can afford.

4. Waiting for Colleges to Offer an Invite
It is exciting to see the mailbox fill up with college brochures and viewbooks, but it’s not recruitment. Students need to raise their hands, identify their interests and promote their individual talents and interest. Writing a strong essay, communicating (text, call, email), visit, and filling a timely application are all keys to demonstrating a desire to enroll.

5. Missing the Importance of Creating a High School Resume
Tracking accomplishments, achievements, and personal growth during high school make completing an accurate college application seamless.

6. Assuming There is Plenty of Financial Aid for Everyone
Colleges, universities, government, and private providers have limited merit scholarships, grants, and need-based available to new and returning students. Don’t delay and always file the FAFSA.

7. Creating an Unrealistic List of College Options
Cast a broad net to learn what schools are looking for your DD or DS, their strengths and interests. Consider a less known brand or one not on the national ranking lists. Don’t just chase.

BIGGEST MISCUE – FAILING TO CREATE A COLLEGE PLAN

At the core, every family should approach the college process with a comprehensive plan. It should be based on goals and expectations, academic, personal, and financial. A good plan offers the guidance and direction needed to find the right education, for the right reason, at the right school for the right price.

Don’t have a plan or wish to have a check-up, we’ll provide a free review and offer out best practice suggestions for a successful college journey!

Consult an Independent College Counselor

Need help calming the waters, getting started, or just answering questions. An experienced independent college counselor can help parents help their students. They listen, focus on needs and expectations, and help students manage a realistic and holistic college plan. Plus, you get the peace of mind that a professional is on the team 100% of the time.

Tom O’Hare is the Founder of Get College Going, a North Shore-based full-service college counseling practice with resources to assist parents, students, and individuals before, during, and after college. 

Have a questions, schedule a free consultation or obtain your free Comprehensive College Guide at www.getcollegegoing.com

Follow Get College Going at www.linktr.ee/getcollegegoing

 

Looking Forward….……as of today

Looking Forward….……as of today

Thanksgiving Week, No Time to Pause the College Planning Button

 

The Fall is usually an exciting month for high school & college students as they return to the classroom and campus activities.  This year, life is just a little different. Covid-19 and its domino effects on the education system,  social interaction, and athletics programs have made for a very turbulent and stressful time. As a parent of four, now working adults, I continue to ask myself, what if I was parenting right now. What would I do? Answer- keep to the plan moving forward.

Sticking to the plan, one focused on goals and expectations, is the best medicine for dealing with uncertainty.  High school and college-age students and those who recently entered the workforce are better equipped to pivot and adjust when dealing with the unexpected before, during, and after college. Here are a few time-sensitive tasks and action items that should be part of this month’s plan.

HS Seniors

  • Deadlines – Application deadlines for high school seniors is now upon us. Admissions and financial aid applications are available, ready for completion and submissions. Getting in and paying for college are driven by two essential applications, the Common App and the FAFSA. Each critical, each requiring time and attention to be completed and filed timely.
    • Students electing to apply EARLY should have sent in their Common Application by now. Students who are holding off or still making their final choices are now looking at December 1- through February 1, 2021 deadlines.

NOTE: Colleges are waiting for applications; if ready, don’t wait for future deadlines-file them now.

  • The FAFSA, the Free Application for Student Aid, should be completed and submitted as early as possible. The Application launches the process of determining a student and family’s eligibility for need-based financial aid. Aid provided from sources including colleges and universities, federal and state, and external sources (employers, civic/community/philanthropic organizations).

Note: All students with an eye on attending college in September of 2021 need to complete the FAFSA.

  • Compare and Evaluate – a continuous process that leads to making a final college selection. For some students and their families, it is immediate; for others, additional time to analyze offers before saying yes. The process can include revisiting a campus, the academic curriculum, and the student life scene, which might change one’s perception and impact one’s goals and expectations over time. Evaluating and questioning is common and can be healthy. A life change event like enrolling in college should answer the question, is this the right one for me? Academic, social, emotional, and financial. Will the college I select set me on my path? Deposit Day is May 1, 2021.

HS Juniors

  • Prequalification before Shopping – the college lists are ready, but how many students and families have evaluated the cost. College is expensive, ranging from $116,000 to $215,000, public and private in-state. Such a big-ticket purchase should first begin with a simple prequalification. Sticker price minus tuition assistance equals the net cost to the student and their family. Dreaming I can get in and hoping I can pay is a recipe for trouble, financial trouble.
  • Evaluating during a pandemic – traditional meet and greet and campus tours are out. Virtual tours, self-guided campus visits are now the play of the day. However, we will return to actual campus visits sometime this Spring, and current juniors and their parents need to be ready. Ready with their top options and the hardcore questions to be asking when finally meeting with college representatives.
  • Standing Out – Never has it been more critical for students to build relationships and raise awareness on college campuses. In these current times of canceled high school visits and college fairs, relationship building between students and college representatives is not happening. To stand out, students need to become a marketer, communicating, and engaging college. Texting, email, and phone calls are three ways a student and college representatives can connect. Waiting for college could result in lost opportunities for acceptance and financial offers. Raise your hand and say hello today!

Workforce November Checklist

  • Returning to School – COVID-19 might have dusted off the idea of returning to college to complete a degree, start a new one (BS/MS/MD) or add a professional skill. Institutions are looking to your interest and can get you started quickly. Consider your eligibility for employee reimbursement benefits, federal and institutional financial aid, or use of programs offered through MassHire and the Career Centers in Salem and Woburn.
  • Managing Educational Debt – federal student loans and some private education loan programs have been on hold during the CV-19 pandemic. But come December 31 and no additional offerings from Washington, loan payments will once again be due. Now is the time to evaluate the use of education loan refinancing to help stabilize budgets and loan payments, lock in all-time loan rates and help with the overall management of education loan debt post-CV-19. Resources are available to help with best practice decisions, including those through AAA Northeast.

CALMING THE WATERS – Are you feeling anxious? Have questions? Everything starts with a Conversation – Text, phone [617-240-7350], or email at tom@getcollegegoing.com  Follow me on FB/getcollegegoing  – Learn more at www.getcollegegoing.com

Looking for quality virtual (college planning) support during these uncertain times, Pivotal College Years, an affiliated partner of Get College Going,  and is making the College Planning Portal for Families FREE to EVERYONE until December 31, 2020. EVERYTHING college before, during, and after, in one place.